8 REASONS TO BE IN PORTUGAL

Traditional fortés such as food packing and cork design are enjoying a very contemporary-looking renaissance, while smart rural retreats and a hi-tech research centre are further signs Portugal has its eyes firmly on the future.

1. VINE ROMANCE

Embedded in the landscape and clad in local burnt shale, a new extension brings a contemporary flavor to a historic Douro valley winery. The Douro valley wineries of Portugal are renowned the world over for the quality of their oenological offerings, but Quinta do Vallado now ranks highly in the architectural stakes too. Porto based practice Guedes + DeCampos was asked to create an extension to the winery, which dates back to the winery, which dates back to 1716, to be integrated into landscape as much as possible, while providing scape for a fermentation warehouse, a hogshead warehouse and a reception. The resulting long and low volume is semi-embedded in the vineyard’s cascading terraces. The building’s clean and contemporary linear exterior geometry, coasted with local burnt shale for added texture, houses an arched interior, a shape  that allows better insulation. An infrastructure tunnel and natural ventilation system complete the package.

2.PORTO CHOCOLATE

Chocolateria Equador in one delicious destination. Opended by graphic designer Celestino Fonseca and artist Teresa Almeida, the stylish Porto boutique, which references the cacao warehouses of Portugal’s old african plantations in its industrial-tinged décor, specialists in all things sweet. It’s handmade wares include large chocolate bars wrapped in beautiful paper and delicately painted ganaches in flavours such as passion fruit and green tea, as well as exquisitely formed cakes, macaroons and truffles, all made using the finest ingredients.

3. JOÃO BRUNO VIDEIRA

In rural Alentejo, under  the moniker Água de Prata, former TV journalist João Bruno Videira uses traditional weaving techniques to create bold, contemporary furniture, such as kaleidoscopic pouffes, made from wool and recycled tyres.

 

4. GUIMARÃES

Guimarães, a mediaval city known as the cradle of the Portuguese nation, will become one of the two 2012 European Capitals of Culture. Its main artistic hubs are the the Centro Cultural Vila Flor, a cultural center set in an 18th-century palace, and Laboratório das Artes. Stay at the five-stars Pousada de Santa Marinha, a former monastery, and dine at Histórico surrounded by Roman walls.

        

5. CASA DO CONTO

Casa do Conto ia a new boutique hotel located in Porto’s emerginhg Cedofeita district. Behind its ornate 19th-century façade, the accommodation comprises six thoroughly modern, light-filled rooms, individually modern, light-filled rooms, individually designed by architects collective Pedra Líquida and furnished with vintage finds. Cada do Conto’s owners Alaxandra and Nuno Grande collaborates with local galleries to organises cultural events throughout the year.

6. CAFÉ VICTORIA

A one-time private residence in Porto’s Baixa district has been revamped with midcentury modern furniture, mixing Scandinavian pieces with traditional Portuguese café items, to give the relaxed ground-floor restaurant an intimate, retro feel.

7. SCIENCE CENTRE

Designed by Indian architect Charles Correa, Lisbon’ Champalimaud  Centre for the unknown is the new HQ of the foundation dedicated to cutting-edge neuroscience and cancer research. It is located on 60,000 sq m waterfront site from where 16th-century Portuguese navigators set sail to discover the world. Composed of two volumes – one houses the research facilities, the other an auditorium – linked by a glass bridge, the building is surrounded by landscape gardens, an open-air amphitheater and a waterfront promenade accessible to all.

 

 

 

8. ESPAÇO B

Conceptual and avant-garde, Espaço B reflects the taste and style of its founders Leonor Barata and José Luis Barbosa. Flooded with light thanks to dramatic arched widows, the spacious boutique stocks designer objects, jewelry, whaches, books and perfumes, as well as local and international fashion lables, from Pé de Chumbo to Comme des Garçons.

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Best Winter Travel Spots

Cappadocia, Turkey – Straddling the line between East and West, Turkey is an up-and-coming destination for travelers. Istanbul, the lively capital, is full of diverse markets, restaurants, and clubs, but head about 450 miles southeast to the ancient city of Cappadocia and you’ll find yourself in an incredible land of rock formations, caves, and wine country. Cappadocia is cold but romantic and beautiful this time of year, and you can find warmth in the Turkish baths and intricate underground cities. These hidden pathways are where Christians first found refuge from the Romans. And it’s those Christian roots that allowed for a burgeoning wine industry, a business that wouldn’t have taken hold were the original settlers predominantly Muslim.

Whistler, Canada – On the Coast Mountain range of British Columbia, Whistler is paradise for skiers and snow bunnies. The region won countless awards for everything from snow lodging to ski runs to just having a high standard of living. The small community inspires a laid-back attitude that will take hold of even the most stressed-out BlackBerry-carrying career person.

Buenos Aires, Argentina – Warm and fun this time of year, Buenos Aires is a pulsating city full of culture—and parties. Known for its delectable food and intoxicating dance (and wine), this Argentine capital is a terrific destination for night owls who want to ring in the New Year at midnight—and keep the party going until dawn.

Sapporo, Japan – Prepare to be amazed by snow sculptures, skiing, traditional Japanese architecture, and hot springs. The painstaking attention to detail for which the Japanese are known makes for glorious, unbelievable snow carvings as intricate as finely trimmed bonsai trees. About a four-hour flight from Tokyo, this vacation spot is for those who want to go slightly off the beaten path.

Prague, Czech Republic – For literature lovers who also like a party, plan a trip to Prague. Home to Franz Kafka and Milan Kundera, it’s a city of opulence and nihilism, culture and the attempt to erase it, all of which makes for a mind-bending experience. Between the architecture, historic landmarks, and underground nightlife, the Czech capital is ripe for exploration.

Northern California, USA – Stay domestic and take a road trip through Northern California, the center of the country’s wine industry. Drive past the waves of mustard flowers that dot the landscape in the winter season and arrive at the vineyards of Napa Valley for the region’s famous wine tours.

Zihuatanejo, Mexico – Once a sleepy Mexican fishing village, Zihuatanejo is quickly becoming one of country’s top resort destinations. Located on the Pacific Coast, the city includes a bustling waterfront marina and seaside boardwalks, while its surrounding mainland region offers rugged, unspoiled natural beauty.

Lisbon, Portugal – For a nice balance of shopping, seaside escape, and nightlife, head to Lisbon, one of Europe’s lesser-known jewels. You can have the cosmopolitan feel of a big European city but still enjoy the intimate Mediterranean atmosphere of one of the continent’s smallest countries.


MAYFAIR

MAYFAIR – one of the most exciting and sophisticated neighborhoods of London

Well located and attended, Mayfair is one of the coolest neighborhoods in the capital, London. Old, began to develop in the second half of the 17th century and since then has seen the city grow around it. This is where are the restaurants, bars and the city’s hottest clubs, and upscale shops, art galleries and auction houses – Sotheby’s between them. Below is a quick guide to know what’s cool in the neighborhood:

Savile Row – one of the most traditional streets of London, where you can meet the famous tailors of the city. The luxury shops, focused on menswear, there since the 18th century dresss British royalty and European aristocracy in general.

Bond Street and New Bond Street – where focus famous British brands such as Alexander McQueen and jewelry Butler & Wilson, in addition to European Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Armani and Prada, among others. There are also antique shops, art galleries, and sophisticated cafes. In the end, Bond Street connects to another famous spot of the city: the street Piccadilly, where the plaza is Piccadilly Circus.

Medici Gallery – one of the main galleries of the city, there is more than one hundred years and focuses primarily British artists to launch early career. 5 Cork Street, http://www.medicigallery.co.uk

Restaurant Maze – who runs the kitchen is Gordon Ramsay, controversial celebrity chef. It has contemporary cuisine and less formal than their other restaurants – the prices follow the same line, and the tasting menu, with six plates, goes for just £ 70 (without drinks).Is inside the Marriott Hotel.     10-13, Grosvenor Sq, http://www.gordonramsay.com / Maze

Westbury Hotel London – hotel is on the corner of a sophisticated New Bond Street. It was the first to be erected in the city after World War II, and since then has become a landmark in the neighborhood. Rooms start at £
169.  www.westburymayfair.co.uk